What is the first thing you do when life goes sideways?

Each of us has our comfort zone: a haven where we run whenever things get rough. It might be an actual physical destination like a cozy reading nook where you read yourself off to a fantasy land, a vacation spot where you leave your worries behind, or a dense forest where you reconnect with nature.

However, for others, a comfort zone might also mean a best friend who helps them pour out their troubled feelings, a video game where they virtually fight their battles (and hopefully win those), a journal where they give free rein to their minds and untangle their unsettled thoughts, or… wait for it… a chocolate bar! Exactly, this is when excitement and deliciousness meet!

If chocolate is your haven, you deeply know it.

When was the last time you came back from work after a long, hectic day, headed straight toward your fridge, reached for a chocolate bar, savored the delicious explosion of pleasure, and finally got in touch with your soul again?

Chocolate is a charming, entertaining, and faithful companion. It comes as a treat for yourself after a tiresome day, or a means to speak your heart or mind: “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “Happy birthday”, or “Get well soon”. Simply, you can never go wrong with chocolate, no matter the occasion!

The only downside? Guilt! But what if there is a way to enjoy every bite or sip of your snack without feeling conscious-stricken? Cacao it is.

Cacao Nibs Luxeit Blog

What is the Difference Between Cacao Powder, Cocoa Powder, and Cacao Nibs?

To fully understand where your chocolate comes from, take a closer look at the cacao tree. Adorned with shiny, leathery, and egg-shaped leaves, this evergreen tree shows off clusters of yellowish-white to pale-pink blooms. And when mature, it puts oval-shaped fruits on display, boasting shades of orange and yellow.

Aside from the tree’s mesmerizing natural beauty, its cacao beans are the source of your favorite chocolate box!

Roaming the chocolate aisle at the grocery store while marveling at the beauty of the various products (guilt creeping its way to your heart though), you notice “cocoa” and “cacao” interchangeably used (or so you think). To make a more informed, enlightened decision the next time you step into a grocery store, you need to learn the difference!

While cocoa and cacao powder come from cacao tree beans, they are processed in different ways. Even though both are the result of fermented cacao beans, cocoa powder is made of beans that are both fermented and roasted, developing a product that habitually contains added sugars and dairy (to make it less acidic).

Cacao powder, on the other hand, is the outcome of cold-pressed, un-roasted cacao beans. The end product? Slightly bitter raw cacao powder that keeps most of its nutritional value intact.

Loaded with impressive amounts of nutrients and rich in an overpowering, flavorful dark chocolate taste and delicious scent, cacao nibs are tiny pieces made of crushed cacao beans. When matched with sweet ingredients, cacao nibs’ bitterness strike an optimum balance among ingredients and textures, taking your brownie or muffin to a whole new level!

Aside from the fact that consuming cacao is often associated with our endeavors to remedy our souls, take a break from the fast-paced, stressful world, and enjoy a rich, exquisite flavor, cacao benefits can do wonders for your physical and mental health as well.

Cacao Powder Luxeit Blog

What Are the Top 8 Benefits of Cacao?

Lowers Your Blood Pressure

There’s no doubt that hypertension can significantly take its toll on your body and mind. What if your love for chocolate can help you regulate your blood pressure?

All you have to do is opt for the right chocolate product at the grocery store. Eating dark chocolate that is low-fat, unsweetened, and has a high percentage of cacao has been shown to help lower your blood pressure.

Packed with flavonoids, cacao increases endothelial nitric oxide formation which promotes vasodilation. Hence, it lowers your blood pressure.

Improves Your Heart Health

From exercising regularly to quitting smoking, eating healthy food, and avoiding stress, there are a wide variety of ways to help you strengthen your heart health and manage risk factors.

Surprisingly, cacao is among these ways too!

To improve blood flow, which is crucial to preserving healthy, successfully functional organs, and to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, add cacao to your balanced diet.

Fights Inflammation

When attacked by an injury or infection, your immune system defends your body by sending inflammatory cells to speed up the healing process. However, if your inflammatory markers are through the roof for extended periods, this indicates an underlying health problem and increased risk of serious health issues.

This is when dark chocolate and raw cacao powder come into the picture! Packed with flavonoids (antioxidants), cacao helps you combat chronic inflammation. But despite that, not every chocolate bar at the grocery store will have anti-inflammatory compounds. So, to truly benefit from your love of chocolate, reach for the ones that don’t list alkalis among the ingredients.

Helps With Blood Sugar Control

How many times have you craved the exquisite, distinctive, and sweet flavor and the silky texture of chocolate — only to feel guilty after munching on a bar because you messed up your blood sugar?

Lucky for you, unsweetened cacao doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugar when consumed as it has a low glycemic index (GI). What’s more, polyphenols, a compound in cacao, may even help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

It’s no secret that today’s fast-paced world is a hotbed of stress and anxiety. While each of us has our getaway to unwind and recharge our batteries, most of us agree on one thing that we crave whenever we feel drained out: you guessed it right, chocolate!

There’s no doubt that highly processed, sweetened chocolate isn’t at all beneficial for your body. On the contrary, though, unsweetened cacao (aka raw), contains phenethylamine, serotonin, anandamide, and theobromine. This impressive combo of mood-enhancing compounds, euphoria chemicals, and mild stimulant helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Boosts Your Mind Power

“What! All I needed to pass that Maths test was a mug of hot cacao?”, you might wonder.

Well, believe it or not, it could’ve helped, to a certain extent of course. Studies have shown that drinking raw cacao (which is packed with flavonols) increases blood oxygenation in the brain, boosting its performance.

Fights Aging and Nourishes the Skin

Who wouldn’t fancy having a tasty snack that not only boosts their moods but promotes youthful, flawless skin? This is the dream!

Well, it is about to get real. Thanks to cacao’s antioxidants, it protects your skin from the damage caused by UV radiation, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and keeps the skin hydrated by preventing any moisture loss.

Promotes Better Sleep

Everyone knows the dramatic difference between a good night’s sleep and tossing and turning all night long. It’s grumpy and snappy versus cheerful and animated.

Nutrient-dense, high in antioxidants, and rich in healthy fats, cacao, although has a minimal amount of caffeine, is a great before-bed snack.

Final Thoughts

It’s no surprise that cacao is globally known as a superfood — after all, it lowers blood pressure, fights aging, promotes flawless, well-nourished skin, helps you enjoy a good night’s sleep, boosts your brain’s power, reduces stress and anxiety, controls your blood sugar levels, fights chronic inflammation, improves your heart health, and lowers your blood pressure!

Because LUXELADYFIT is driven by a mission to help its clients lead a well-balanced lifestyle, follow a nutritious diet, and maintain a healthy body, we offer you extremely comfortable yet elegant activewear!

Find the latest designs in women’s activewear and work out in style!


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